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John B. Holmes

                                                           Rock Township.
                                           [Handled Hogs, Sheep, and Cattle.]
Rock Creek Township 1873: John B. Holmes, 53; spouse, Susannah, 33.
Rock Township 1882: John B. Holmes, 62; spouse, Susannah, 40.
Rock Township 1882: E. J. Holmes, 23.
Rock Township 1882: Electa Holmes, 23, daughter of John B. Holmes.
Note: Ira N. Holmes was a brother of John B. Holmes of Rock Township.
Ira N. Holmes, it appears, was the father of Charles F. Holmes.
Father and son (Ira N. Holmes and Charles F. Holmes) ran various business enterprises in Winfield as “Holmes & Son.” and at one time were part of Tunnel Mills.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Messenger, October 4, 1872.
There will be a joint discussion of the political questions of the day between the candidates on the Republican and Liberal County tickets, at the following times and places.
Rock, at Holmes’ store, Wednesday, Oct. 16th, 7 o’clock p.m.
Winfield Courier, February 15, 1873.
1. Petition from John B. Holmes and others, asking that a road be laid out and opened commencing on the north and south section line road, which lies on the east side of section sixteen at the point intended, by the quarter line of section sixteen, running thence west on the quarter line or as near thereto as practicable, through sections 16 and 17 terminating on the west line of section 17, township 30, south of range 4 east...dated Rock, Cowley County, Kansas, February 10th, 1873.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 13, 1873.
Petition of J. B. Holmes granted, with W. H. Grow, Isaac Tousley, and Jacob Allen as viewers, to meet for survey March 25th, 1873.
Winfield Courier, May 27, 1875.
Mr. Holmes, of Rock Township, has eighty acres of blue grass. John J. Ingalls is coming down to visit Cowley this summer and we propose taking him on to that blue grass for a roll.
Winfield Courier, August 26, 1875.
Mr. Holmes, the wheat raiser of Rock Township, threshed over six thousand bushels of wheat of his own raising, averaging twenty-five bushels to the acre.
Winfield Courier, September 2, 1875.
J. D. Hanlin will sow one hundred and sixty, Frank Manny, seventy, and J. B. Holmes, over two hundred acres of wheat this fall. These are only a few of the large fields that will be sown in Rock Township.
Winfield Courier, November 18, 1875.
Last Friday, Nov. 14th, a large and earnest railroad meeting was held at Eldorado. Messrs. Meigs, Channell, McMullen, and Christian, from Arkansas City; Millington and Manning of Winfield, and Holmes and Lee, of Rock Township, were the repre­sentatives from Cowley County.

The corporation is named the Walnut Valley R. R. Company.
Winfield Courier, January 27, 1876.
It will cost Mr. Holmes, of Rock Township, three thousand dollars next fall to deliver his wheat in Wichita; and Cowley County has no railroad.
Winfield Courier, February 10, 1876.
Last Saturday a large concourse of representative men from all parts of Cowley County assembled in Winfield to give expres­sion to their views upon the railroad situation. The meeting was held in the Courthouse. The room was packed full and many were left outside that could not gain admittance for the jam. Mayor D. A. Millington was chosen Chairman, and I. H. Bonsall, of Arkansas City, selected as secretary. A committee on resolutions consisting of A. B. Lemmon, S. M. Fall, of Lazette; R. P. Goodrich, of Maple City; W. R. Watkins, of Liberty; S. S. Moore, of Tisdale; J. B. Holmes, of Rock; H. L. Barker, of Richland; Enos Henthorn, of Omnia; Mr. Harbaugh, of Pleasant Valley; T. M. Morris, of Beaver; L. Bonnewell, of Vernon; Amos Walton, of Bolton; and S. B. Fleming, of Creswell Townships was appointed.
Winfield Courier, March 23, 1876.
The following is a list of cases that will stand for trial at the April term A. D. 1876, of the District Court of Cowley, and have been placed on the Trial Docket in the following order. CIVIL DOCKET. FOURTH DAY. Susannah Holmes vs. T. H. Johnson.
Winfield Courier, June 1, 1876.
The Butler County papers chronicle the arrival of a steam thresher in this county, and hurrah it up as the first in the southwest. Not so fast, boys! The Nixon brothers, of Vernon township, in this county, had a steam thresher here in March last, and will blow the whistle on the streets of Winfield this week. They commence threshing June 20th at the Slemmons farm, west of town, and are to set down by J. B. Holmes’ four hundred acre wheat field June 26th. W. H. Grow, of Rock township, has ordered a steam thresher also. We guess that Cowley will claim the honor of having the first steam thresher in southwest Kansas. You may beat us on a “bob-tail” whistle, but we will hear the thresher whistle first. Next.
Winfield Courier, September 13, 1877.
At a railroad meeting held at the Darien schoolhouse, in Rock township, last Tuesday evening, W. H. Grow, J. B. Holmes, William White, Alexander Grabeer, and Harvey Harris were appointed a committee to look after the interests of Rock Creek in the approaching election.
John B. Holmes was delivering hogs to Wichita...
Winfield Courier, October 4, 1877.
On last Friday we met Mr. C. M. Wood on the way to Wichita with a drove of fat hogs. We also met John B. Holmes with a load of the same kind of fruit.
Winfield Courier, February 21, 1878.
John B. Holmes and wife to J. L. Homes, n of sw 6, 30, 4, 80, $1,000.
Winfield Courier, March 14, 1878.

A good joke is told on the Telegram agent. He called on John B. Holmes, the great Rock township farmer, and solicited a subscription for his paper. J. B. answered that he had been hunting three weeks for a job of work to earn money to pay for the other paper. The agent thought he had struck too poor a customer and “slid out.”
Winfield Courier, April 11, 1878.
BIRTH. J. B. Holmes will harvest about 500 acres of wheat this season; and better still, he is in luck in his old age—it is a boy. But you will get worried with this letter, so I will close. SILAS BRACKET.
Winfield Courier, August 29, 1878.
Mr. I. N. Holmes, brother of John H. Holmes of Rock, has arrived from Indiana and proposes to locate. He is accompanied by Mr. G. W. Carnes, of Thorntown, Indiana.
Winfield Courier, August 28, 1879.
Mr. John Holmes has sold his Rock creek farm, of 320 acres, to some Indiana parties for $3,500.
John B. Holmes and sons now handling sheep...
Winfield Courier, June 30, 1881.
J. B. Holmes and sons have invested in sheep, 840 ewes, from which they have 500 lambs. Mr. Holmes sold his wool clip at Winfield at about 16 cents per pound.
Winfield Courier, June 30, 1881.
J. B. Holmes and sons have invested in sheep, 840 ewes, from which they have 500 lambs. Mr. Holmes sold his wool clip at Winfield at about 16 cents per pound.
Cowley County Courant, May 25, 1882.
A Courant representative visited Rock township yesterday. To say that this is the best township in the county would lay the Courant liable to the charge of toadyism from which it prides itself on being so free. It is, however, one of the several very best in any county. No township in the county combines so many natural advantages. Besides vast quantities of the richest bottom land, there is abundance of timber, pure water in plenty, and exhaustive building and fencing stone, to be had for the quarrying; and wheat and corn everywhere. We think it probable that Rock township should be credited with having raised the biggest wheat in the State, that is, the largest yield to the acre. The acreage is not so large this year as last, but gives promise of being the best crop yet raised in that wheat raising township.
The Rock store kept by that clever, sensible Republican, George H. Williams, is the political headquarters, and may be said to be the county seat of Rock township. Here may be found a few congenial souls almost any time of the day. And the wayfarer can be accommodated with any kind of a discussion he feels himself capable of taking a hand in. The versatile Harcourt will lock horns with him on temperance, the conscientious Gale will hold him down on religion or the want of it, while Uncle John Holmes can wear him out on hogs and cattle. These gentlemen all live handy, and can afford now, to take their ease. They are in no sense loafers. They are men who have gathered a big compe­tence by hard work and good management, who now feel that they have earned a rest on the shadowy side of their lives.

John Holmes, Esq., is the most extensive farmer in the county. He owns a thousand acres of the choicest land, nearly all of it in wheat and corn. We had the good fortune to be invited to dinner with Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Harcourt, where in company with Mr. and Mrs. Commissioner Gale, we passed a pleasant hour. This is decidedly a hoosier neighborhood, every man within a radius of several miles having been lucky enough to get away from Indiana.
Tom C. Brown had the misfortune to have a fine mare badly torn on a barbarous barbed wire fence some time ago and now Tom wishes there wasn’t a wire of that kind in the State.
W. O. Baxter, M. L. Hollingsworth, W. L. White, G. M. Turner, F. G. Szirkowsky, Mr. Thompson, J. M. Harcourt, John Holmes, Mr. Bailey, and Sam Strong are among the most successful farmers of that township.
Winfield Courier, December 14, 1882.
Uncle Johnnie Holmes shipped to Kansas City last week 154 hogs averaging 328 in Kansas City, selling for $6.25.
Winfield Courier, December 28, 1882.
MARRIED. Mr. A. W. Railsback and Miss Mary Holmes were married last Sunday at the residence of the bride’s father, John Holmes, in Rock Township. They left Monday morning for a trip east.
Winfield Courier, December 28, 1882.
MARRIED. Married on Dec. 26, at the residence of the bride by Elder Rose, Mary J. Holmes and A. W. Railsback. Quite a crowd was in attendance, mainly relations. After the ceremony the happy couple departed for Ottawa, Kansas, where they will visit the brother of the groom. May happiness ever strew their pathway, and may they pass quietly down to a ripe old age.
Winfield Courier, January 25, 1883.
John B. Holmes has purchased a 4 ton Chicago scale. He will put it up at home.
The officers of our Sunday school for the ensuing quarter are: Supt. Thos. Harp; Assistant Superintendents, C. H. Leavitt and Mrs. Lydia Thompson; Secretary, Mrs. Wilson; Assistant Secretary, Geo. Harcourt; Librarian, Miss Maggie Holmes; Treasurer, Miss Lotta Thompson.
Winfield Courier, February 22, 1883.
Ab. Holmes has returned from Arkansas.
      Mr. Hollingsworth, living for the past year on J. B. Holmes’ farm, will move 4 miles east, and James Rodgers and brother will take his place for the coming year.
Winfield Courier, March 15, 1883.
Mr. Hollingsworth, formerly living on J. B. Holmes’ farm, gave a dance. M. Hollingsworth, though a man of 40 odd, had never seen but one dance, and it struck him as a tip-top invention, so he had one. All had a good time.
Winfield Courier, March 29, 1883.
Ab. Holmes bought the Harcourt sheep of Osborne.

Miss Maggie Holmes has been visiting her sister in Augusta.
Jonathan Holmes, brother to John B. Holmes, has sold out in Arkansas and is on his way here.
Dave Stalter bought John B. Holmes’ light wagon. Dave has the county right for “The Great Fuel Saver.” It is a pig thing. It is a drum to place upon the pipe, allowing no heat to escape up the chimney. One cord of wood will run a family two years—providing the head of the family skirmishes around sufficiently. Dave says he came home one night quite late and gathered up a handful of straw, which was saturated with frost, and then threw it into the stove. The room became so hot that he had to take his coat off and go out doors to cool off.
[Note: Jonathan Holmes lived on place formerly owned by George M. Turner. The background on “Turner” follows.]
Rock Township 1882: George M. Turner, 39; spouse, Nancy, 35.
Cowley County Courant, May 25, 1882.
W. O. Baxter, M. L. Hollingsworth, W. L. White, G. M. Turner, F. G. Szirkowsky, Mr. Thompson, J. M. Harcourt, John Holmes, Mr. Bailey, and Sam Strong are among the most successful farmers of that township.
Winfield Courier, December 14, 1882.
Geo. M. Turner sold his hogs a few days since at $5.60, delivering them at Winfield.
Uncle Johnnie Holmes shipped to Kansas City last week 154 hogs averaging 328 in Kansas City, selling for $6.25.
Winfield Courier, March 15, 1883.
Geo. M. Turner sold his farm of 160 acres to S. P. Strong. Consideration $4,000. Mr. Turner is going into the cattle business. Geo. is a No. 1 citizen and he will be missed. The worst thing about him is that he is a Democrat. JIM.
Winfield Courier, March 29, 1883.
Geo. Turner’s sale went off well, hogs bringing about 10 cents per pound and other things selling very high.
Winfield Courier, May 3, 1883.
Geo. Turner has bought a farm in this county, joining the corner of Elk and Chautauqua, containing 100 acres, for which he paid $1,300. Mr. Turner moved last week.
Winfield Courier, May 3, 1883.
John B. Holmes is sowing $300 worth Alfalfa clover seed.
Jonathan Holmes has arrived from Arkansas and is living on the Geo. Turner place.
Refers to Gene Wilber and John Holmes handling sheep...
Winfield Courier, June 14, 1883.

Gene Wilber and John Holmes were down Monday to market their wool clip. We saw a sample and judge it was wool because it had fizz on it like an old sock; it was good wool because Gene said so, and he wouldn’t lie. The clip will average about ten pounds. The next time those gentlemen assert we don’t know a sheep from a hedgehog, there will be wailing over deceased among relatives in Rock Township.
Reference to Ed. Holmes, Ab. Holmes handling sheep...
Winfield Courier, August 9, 1883.
Mr. Hornady and wife, of Chicago, who have been visiting Dr. Hornady, of Rock, left for home Monday. Mr. Hornady, of Illinois, bought Ed. Holmes’ farm for $1,700, but will not take possession until spring. He also bought 150 head of sheep of Mr. Ab. Holmes.
Winfield Courier, August 16, 1883.
Mr. Ab. Holmes was in town Monday arranging for a sheep sale, notice of which will be found in another column.
Winfield Courier, August 16, 1883.
SHEEP SALE. I will offer for sale at Public Auction 2½ North of Floral, and 12 miles northeast of Winfield, on Tuesday, August 28th, at 10 o’clock a.m., the following grades of sheep. 145 Ewe Lambs, 200 Weathers, 100 Merino Ewes, 350 Cotswold Ewes, 1 to 3 years old; 7 Merino Bucks, shear from 20 to 35 pounds. Terms: Twelve months’ time at six percent interest, with bankable security. Six percent off for cash. A. T. Holmes.
Walter Denning, Auctioneer.
Winfield Courier, August 16, 1883.
Mr. J. L. Holmes has returned to Cowley from Arkansas and will remain with us. He don’t like Arkansas, but thinks Cowley is the best country under the sun.
Winfield Courier, August 30, 1883.
Miss Sarah Holmes and Mrs. Heath are spending the week with their sister in Augusta.
Winfield Courier, September 6, 1883.
Committee on credentials reported the following named delegates and alternates for their respective townships.
ROCK: Geo. L. Gale, Chas. Holmes, W. H. Grow.
Alternates: Bryan Tuggle, Theo. Stevenson, Jack Martindale.
Winfield Courier, September 13, 1883.
Jno. Holmes and son will start to Colorado in a short time.
Winfield Courier, October 25, 1883.

Hessian Fly. We are informed by Mr. G. L. Gale that the Hessian fly has made its appearance in his neighborhood, and is killing the wheat rapidly. It commenced on the fields of Mr. J. B. Holmes and has destroyed over a hundred acres for him, and is spreading in his and other neighboring fields. It is a fly about the size and appearance of a grain of chess. It deposits its egg on top of the leaf and it or the grub works down inside the stem into the roots and kills the roots. It is said that a heavy frost would arrest their ravages. Mr. R. J. Yeoman informs us that in the states east of here, when this fly appears, the farmers turn all the stock they can get upon the wheat fields and feed them down to the ground, so that the fly has no chance to deposit eggs where they will do hurt, and wait for frost. Mr. T. S. Green thinks that the damage was done before the rains set in and that since then no eggs have been deposited. He also thinks that only wheat sown very early will be affected.
Winfield Courier, May 1, 1884.
Mr. John B. Holmes has sheared his sheep and will doubtless have to blanket them till spring comes again.
Winfield Courier, June 5, 1884.
Miss Katy Holmes of Rock has been visiting her sister, Mrs. Fatout, this week.
Winfield Courier, June 19, 1884.   Still the magnificent productions of our county keep rolling in and the COURIER office is becoming a regular agricultural emporium. The latest addition is in the tame grass line—Alfalfa brought in from Rock Township by Mr. A. T. Holmes. It is three feet high and in full bloom, and President Martin of the Horticultural Society, says it is the finest specimen he ever saw. Mr. Holmes has a hundred and fifty acres of it. The man who says this isn’t a tame grass county should come in and look over our specimens.
Winfield Courier, July 17, 1884.
ROCK. Delegates: S. P. Strong, Charles Holmes, Clem Bradshaw. Alternates: None.
Winfield Courier, August 21, 1884.
Mrs. F. H. Crosby, of K. C., Mrs. T. L. Vamer, of Lyndon, Osage County, and Miss Dollie Holmes, of Rock, are visiting Mrs. C. M.  Leavitt this week.
Winfield Courier, September 4, 1884.

Mr. Ab. Holmes has been raising Amber cane for feed. He has cut with a binder and bound into bundles over 12 tons per acre and is satisfied that it will make the very best of feed.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, January 29, 1885.
Land Office at Wichita, Kansas, January 28, 1885. NOTICE is hereby given that the following named settler has filed notice of his intention to make final proof in support of his claim, and that said proof will be made before Jno. D. Pryor, a Notary Public, at Winfield, Kansas, on March 13th, 1885, viz.: Joseph J. Cunningham for the s ½ of ne ¼ section 35 township 30 south, range 4 East of 6 P.M. He names the following witnesses to prove his continuous residence upon and cultivation of said land, viz.: James Hanlen, Charles H. Holmes, and Ben White, of Rock P. O., Cowley County, Kans., and A. L. Weber, of Floral, Cowley County, Kansas. R. L. WALKER, Register.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 12, 1885.
H. L. Walker, Register, Land Office at Wichita, notice by settler, Joseph J. Cunningham, re land. Witnesses: James Hanlen, Charles H. Holmes, and Ben White, of Rock.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 16, 1885.
The County Commissioners, as usual at the beginning of each term recently, are wrestling with county road cases. Cowley is getting populous and must have more roads.
The S. G. Caster road, in Liberty township, was granted and damages of $200 to Levi Weimer and $50 to George Klaus were allowed; also road of James Hanlen, and damages allowed to J. B. Holmes, $25, and Ed. J. Holmes, $35. T. J. Hughes’ road adopted from mid. cor. of sec. 2-31-7, thence e to s. e. cor. of lot 31, sec. 31, range 8. No damages claimed or allowed.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, June 4, 1885.
Misses Katie Holmes and Lola Williams, of Rock, were visiting with Mrs. Fatout a few Sundays ago.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.
The following claims were allowed in July.
Road damages, J. B. Holmes, 25.00
Road damages, E. J. Holmes, $35.00
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 6, 1885.
Rass Ross, on one of J. B. Holmes’ farms, had a stack of oats struck by lightning. It struck in the center, and soon burned the stack up.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 20, 1885.
Ab Holmes and his mother, Mrs. John B. Holmes, were down from Rock.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, September 24, 1885.
Convention called to order. Committee on credentials reported the following names of delegates entitled to seats in this convention.
Delegates: E. P. Hornady, W. R. Grow, Jas. Atkinson, E. J. Wilber, S. P. Strong.
Alternates: John Holmes, J. B. Holmes, James Walker, Reuben Booth Jr., Wm. White.

Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 1, 1885.
Ab. Holmes’ Galloways carried off the ribbons. His bull is a dandy and received much attention from stock men.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, December 17, 1885.
Public Sale! Of grade Shorthorn cattle. I will offer for sale at public auction at my farm, 1 miles north and 1 mile west of Wilmot station, on the K. C. & S. W. Ry., and 12 miles northeast of Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas, on December 22nd, 1885, commencing at 11 o’clock a.m., 40 head of high grade short-horn heifers, one, two and three years old, all in calf by imported Galloway bull Black Prince of Nook, imported by A. B. Mathews, Kansas City, Missouri. Also one span of 5-year-old mares, 16½ hands high, bright bay color, weight 1300 each, good condition, both with foal by blooded horses. I have also 20 head of half-blood Galloway bull calves that I offer at private sale on same day. Terms of Sale: A credit of nine months will be given on all notes bearing bankable security and drawing 12 per cent per annum. A. T. Holmes, Wilmot, Kansas.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, December 17, 1885.
The committees, appointed at the citizens’ meeting, to work up the submitting of propositions for the extension of the Florence El Dorado & Walnut railroad from Douglass to Winfield, met yesterday afternoon in McDougall’s hall to determine on the apportionment of the amount of aid asked. Judge T. H. Soward called the meeting to order. S. P. Strong was chosen chairman and W. J. Wilson, Secretary. M. L. Robinson then explained the object of the meeting, to get everything in readiness for aggressive work in submitting the propositions and securing this road.
Committees were appointed as follows to see that this matter is properly worked up.
Rock: G. L. Gale, G. H. Williams, H. F. Hornady, E. J. Wilber, J. M. Harcourt, S. P. Strong, J. B. Holmes, and John Stalter.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 4, 1886.
Word reaches us that Lon Stalter, wife and child, formerly living in Rock township, were frozen to death in Kansas County during the late storm. Mr. Stalter was a nephew of John Stalter and a son of David Stalter, who now lives near Udall. Mrs. Stalter was the daughter of John B. Holmes, who lives at Rock P. O. We have not learned any of the particulars.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 4, 1886.
Mrs. Lon Stalter, who was reported in Monday’s COURIER as frozen to death in Kansas County, was the daughter of Joachim Holmes and not John B. Holmes as reported.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 4, 1886.
John B. Holmes was down from Rock Tuesday.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 4, 1886.
The following are the real estate transfers filed in the office of Register of Deeds yesterday.
A V Polk et ux to A T Holmes, lots 7 and 8, blk 19, Wilmot: $125.00.
Wilmot Town Co to A V Polk, lots 7 and 8, blk 19, Wilmot: $125.00.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 11, 1886.

A. T. Holmes, the rustling young Rock township farmer, has taken another branch of business, having bought the hardware and implement house of A. V. Polk, at Wilmot. Ab. is one of the county’s best young men and will succeed in any business. Of course he continues the raising of blooded stock on his fine farm.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 18, 1886.
Mr. John B. Holmes, of Rock, has been in town for several days. This means a big trade of some kind. He is a rustler.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, March 25, 1886.
A. T. Holmes, Wilmot’s rustling young hardware man, was in the hub last Sunday.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 1, 1886.
Ab. Holmes, Wilmot’s merchant, was down Thursday.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, April 1, 1886.
S. P. Strong, J. M. Harcourt, and John B. Holmes returned from Topeka, having incorporated and filed the charter of “The Rock Town Company,” of Rock, Cowley County, Kansas. Term of charter, fifty years. Directors: Alden Speare, of Boston; W. G. Dickinson, W. A. Coates, Topeka; J. M. Harcourt and S. P. Strong, of Rock. Capital stock, $50,000. John B. Holmes is a member of the company, which has just secured control of 160 acres, four forty acre tracts cornering right on the old site of Rock, on which they will build their town. As will be noticed, three of the incorporators are prominent Santa Fe officials, who will back the town and put it right forward. The location of Rock is one of the best in the west for a splendid county town. It is surrounded by the best agricultural district in Cowley and is in the center of an enterprising, wealthy, and influential neighborhood. The Santa Fe company takes a half interest in the town and the Town Company grant it two miles of right of way, which is evidence that the Santa Fe means to make Rock a good town. Dirt is now flying on the Santa Fe extension, just this side of Douglass, where a half mile of right of way was purchased from James Thompson for $900. That graded, a jump will be made to the secured right of way at Rock, and after April 22nd, when the official condemnation begins, the grading and track laying will be boosted through to Winfield with a rush. The Rock Town Company organized with Alden Speare, president; S. P. Strong, vice-president; W. A. Coates, secretary and treasurer.


Cowley County Historical Society Museum